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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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THE  JXT  STYLE  OF ARCHITECTURE,                                   ITS
aow in Togue at Mathura, Is the result of Muhammadan influences -working upon
a Hindu basis. The extraordinary po^er that resulted from the first introduc-
tion of the new element is all but exhausted ; the system requires once more to
be invigorated from without. A single touch of genius might restore It to more
than all its pristine activity by wedding it to the European Gothbj to which it
has a strong natural affinity. The product would be a style that would satisiy
all the piactical requirements of modern civilization, and at the same time
display the union of oriental and western idea, ia a concrete form, which both
nationalities could appreciate. The combination of dome and spire, the dreaai
of our last great Gothic architect, but which he died without accomplishing,
would follow spontaneously 5 and Anglo-Indian architecture, no longer a bye- *
word for Philistinism and vulgarity, might spread through the length and
breadth of the empire with as much success as Indo-Greek art ia the davs of
Alexander or Hindu-Saracenic art ia the reign of Akbar.
The eclecticism of the last-named period, which has suggested the above
remarks, was followed by the Jat style3 of which the best examples are the
toinbs and palaces erected by Siiraj Mall, the founder of ihe Bharaipur dynasty,
and his immediate successors. In these the arch is thoroughly naturalized ;
the details are also in the main dictated by Muhammadan precedent, but they
are carried out with much of the old Hiadu solidity and esuberanee of fanci-
ful decoration. The arcade of the Ganga Mohan Kiinj at Biindo-ban is a
very fine specimen of this style at its best, In later buildings^ as in. those
a the bank of the Maaasi GaBga at Grabardhan, the mouldings are shallower
the waH-omamentatiori consists of nothing but aa endless succession of
niches and vases repeated with wearisome uniformity. The Bangal%, or ob-
long alcove, with a vaulted roof of cnrvEinear outline, is always a, prominent
feature in this style and is introduced into some part of every facade. From
the name it may be inferred that it was borrowed from Bengal ami was pro-
bably intended as a copy of the ordinary ,ootlage **x>f madb of bent feambos.
It does not appear ia Upper India til the reign of Aurangzeb; 4h earliest
example in Matirara being lite alcoves of the mosque bailfc by AW-oa-
labi in 1681 AIX
The style in vogue at the present day is the legitimate desoeadaiifc of the
above, and differs from it in precisely the same way as Berpendicalar differs
from Decorated GoiMe, It las gr-eater lightness, lint less freedom s nwce eMxra^
tkm IB details., but less vigour in coiMsepiioiL The panelling rf th walls and
piers is often filed in -with extremdj delimte arab^nea of iBtricate